The Essex Junior Closed was held at BATTS Harlow on Bank Holiday Monday, 2 January 2012. Entries were slow to arrive but after an extension to the original closing date, 22 entries at that point, by the time a draw could held there were enough entries to enable the event to proceed and with another couple of entries being accepted over the holiday period we finally reached 43 entries, although organiser Arthur Clark had to reschedule some a further two times to accommodate these entries.
The day started with three events, the Under 13 and 18 Boys Singles and the Under 15 Girls Singles. The U13 event saw top seed Sidney Dorn (Southend) progress to and win the final with consummate ease, only dropping a game in his Group match with Tharujan Sivarajah. In the other half James Knudsen (BATTS) needed four games to get past Alexander Terrell in the semi final.
In the U18 event Alex Hollland (BATTS) progressed similarly to the final although Benjamin Matthews (Southend) took a game off him in their semi final clash. A round earlier Benjamin had been taken the full five game distance before overcoming League colleague Samuel Lowman -6, 4, 7, -14, 4. The bottom half of the draw was notable for the titanic semi final battle between Charlie Bates (Southend) and Robert Shrimpton (Chelmsford), one of a number in various Tournaments this season, which after a number of superb rallies Charlie scraped through 7, -15, 12, 10. In the final an easy 6, 3, 5 win for Alex. All six seeds won their respective Groups.
With Chloe Andrews unable to attend up for the Under 15 Girls this event was contested by five girls. The top three positions in the Round Robin were determined by Jessie Jarvis’s last two matches with Zoe Davies and Shannon Conway respectively where she prevailed 11-6 and an even closer 11-9 in the deciding game against both players, Zoe thus finishing third and Shannon the runner up.
Next events on were the Under 15 Boys and Under 13 Girls. Nothing spectacular until the semi finals where the audience was treated to two great semi finals of contrasting styles. At the same time first game scores were 14-14 on Table 1 and 11-11 on Table 2 and a few minutes later 10-10 on both tables. Samuel Lowman beat James Knudsen 14, 10, 8 in the bottom half semi but the top half semi went the full distance between the two hard hitting clubmates, Livingstone Nadarajah overcoming top seed Kleber Silva (both Becontree) -8, 14, 8, -6, 10. The final was a repeat of the semis where Livingstone eventually overcame Samuel -8, 8, 8, 13 although Samuel had three chances to take the match to a deciding game.
Only three of the original five entrants were able to compete in the U13 Girls event where Jessie Jarvis emerged the winner to add to her U15 event triumph.
The last events were the two Restricted competitions for players who have not played for the County and were not seeded. Boys Group winners were Kleber Silva, Joshua Dye (Mossford), Benjamin Matthews and Jack Crook (Chelmsford) and these four players had comfortable first round wins to reach the semi finals. Pulsating semis which could have gone either way, Kleber beating Benjamin 10, -11, 11, 9 and Jack coming from 2-1 down to beat Joshua (who he had lost to in an U18 Group match at the start of the day) -8, 7, -8, 10, 9. In the final Kleber’s shot power to finish the rallies proved decisive, winning 8, 3, 11, 9.
We would like to thank our two umpires, John Jennings and Lyndon Griffiths and to County Chairman Ken Field for presenting trophies to all the winners.
Arthur C. Clark
Junior Match Secretary and Tournament Organiser.